Core-collapse supernovae: neutrino-dark matter phenomenology and probes of internal physics

dc.contributor.authorHeston, Sean MacDonalden
dc.contributor.committeechairHoriuchi, Shunsakuen
dc.contributor.committeememberArav, Nahumen
dc.contributor.committeememberVogelaar, Robert Bruceen
dc.contributor.committeememberShoemaker, Ianen
dc.description.abstractThe standard model of particle physics cannot currently explain the origin of neutrino masses and anomalies that have been observed at different experiments. One solution for this is to introduce a beyond the standard model origin for these issues, which introduces a coupling between neutrinos and dark matter. Such an interaction would have implications on cosmology and would be constrained by astrophysical neutrino sources. A promising astrophysical source to probe this interaction is core-collapse supernovae as they release ~3x10^53 erg in neutrinos for each transient. However, more observations that constrain the internal physics of core-collapse supernovae are needed in order to better understand their neutrino emission. This dissertation studies two probes of internal physics that allow for a better understanding of the neutrino emission from core-collapse supernovae. The first is a novel approach to try and detect more supernova neutrinos that do not come from galactic events nor from the diffuse supernova background. This is accomplished by doing an offline timing coincidence search at neutrino detectors with a search window determined by optical observations of core-collapse supernovae. With a two-tank Hyper-Kamiokande, this allows for ~1 neutrino detection every 10 years with a confidence level of ~2.6 sigma, resulting from low nearby core-collapse rates and large background rates in the energy range of interest. The second probe of internal physics is high energy gamma-rays from the decays of unstable nuclei in proto-magnetar jets. The abundance distribution of the unstable nuclei depends directly on the neutrino emission, which controls the electron fraction, as well as properties of the proto-magnetar. We find that different proto-magnetar properties produce gamma-ray signals that are distinguishable from each other, and multiple types of observations allow for estimations of the jet and proto-magnetar properties. These gamma-ray signals are detectable for on-axis jets out to extragalactic distances, ~35 Mpc in the best case, and for off-axis jets the signal is only detectable for galactic or local galaxies depending upon the viewing angle. This dissertation also studies a phenomenological constraint on the interactions between neutrinos and dark matter. Using the neutrino emission from supernovae and the inferred dark matter distributions in Milky Way dwarf spheroidals, we constrain the amount of energy the neutrinos can inject into the dark matter sub-halos. This then allows a constraint on the interaction cross-section between neutrinos and dark matter with assumptions about the interaction kinematics. Assuming Lambda-CDM to be correct, the neutrinos cannot interact with low mass dark matter too often as it will become gravitationally unbound, changing the mass of the core we see today. For high mass dark matter, neutrinos can only inject a fraction of ~6.8x10^-6 of their energy in order to not conflict with estimates of the current shapes of the dark matter sub-halos. The constraints we obtain are sigma_nu-DM(E_nu=15 MeV, m_DM>130 GeV) ~ 3.4x10^-23 cm^2 and sigma_nu-DM(E_nu=15 MeV, m_DM <130 GeV) ~ 3.2x10^-27} (m_DM/1 GeV)^2 cm^2, which is slightly stronger than previous bounds for these energies. Consideration of baryonic feedback or host galaxy effects on the dark matter profile can strengthen this constraint.en
dc.description.abstractgeneralIn our current understanding of the physics of the particles that govern how the universe behaves, there is no way to explain the properties we observe for the neutrino. Neutrinos were originally theorized to have zero mass, however neutrino experiments suggests otherwise. The current model of particle physics cannot explain how the neutrinos have mass, therefore an viable way to explain it is to introduce new physics that can generate the neutrino masses. A way to do this is to allow the neutrinos to interact with dark matter, which is matter that does not interact with light and is therefore invisible to the human eye. We know dark matter should exist in the universe due to the gravitational effects it has, making things like galaxies much heavier than what the stars and gas we see can explain. If neutrinos and dark matter interact, we should be able to see the effects of these interactions in the universe, and also possibly at locations where many neutrinos are produced. One such source of neutrinos in the universe are core-collapse supernovae, which are the deaths of massive stars and produce copious amounts of neutrinos. This dissertation studies signals that allow us to better understand the neutrino emission from core-collapse supernovae. One of these signals comes from summing the neutrinos we detect from many distant core-collapse supernovae. This technique uses the optical observations of the supernovae to give us a time window around which we can go through neutrino detector data to find if there are any neutrino detections that cannot be explained as coming from background events. Another method is to observe gamma-rays, high energy photons, that come from the radioactive decay of elements in jets moving near the speed of light powered by rare core-collapse supernovae. The specific gamma-rays and the overall brightness of them allows for an estimation of the properties of the neutrino emission and properties of the central engine that accelerates the jet to near the speed of light. This dissertation also studies the implications of a possible interactions in small and dim satellite galaxies of the Milky Way known as dwarf spheroidals. The shape of the dark matter that is distributed in these dwarf spheroidals can be inferred from the motion of the stars in that dwarf spheroidal, and this shape disagrees with the prevailing theory of dark matter in the universe. We take advantage of this disagreement to place an upper limit on both the mass loss that can occur in this region and the energy that past core-collapse supernovae within the dwarf spheroidals can inject into the dark matter. The mass loss bound lets us place a constraint on how often neutrinos can interact with light dark matter particles. The energy injection limit and an assumption on the energy transfer in each interaction between dark matter and neutrinos allows us to constrain how often the interaction can occur for heavy dark matter particles.en
dc.description.degreeDoctor of Philosophyen
dc.publisherVirginia Techen
dc.rightsCreative Commons Attribution 4.0 Internationalen
dc.subjectcore-collapse supernovaeen
dc.subjectdark matteren
dc.subjectmulti-messenger astronomyen
dc.titleCore-collapse supernovae: neutrino-dark matter phenomenology and probes of internal physicsen
dc.typeDissertationen Polytechnic Institute and State Universityen of Philosophyen


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